I spend my time between Edinburgh and Portpatrick, and and can therefore cover weddings over quite a wide region.
I am a father, a husband and a son. I am a worker, I have no religious beliefs. Although I come from Glasgow, I come from a non-religious tradition. The basic assumption that I have grown up with is that we have one life, and that life should be lived as far as possible to the full. I was married in a civil ceremony in 1975, and the ceremony itself was a little perfunctory. We are still together thirty odd years later, so we do believe in love and marriage. I was never Christened, and none of my children were either. I first came across formal humanism when my parents booked their funerals, where they stated that they wished to have a humanist ceremony. In actual fact my mother called it a ‘humorist’ funeral.
I decided to train as a celebrant in 2007, and since then have conducted many ceremonies. I have also conducted both of my daughters' weddings and naming ceremonies for three of my grandchildren.
I have had a fairly long career – I spent 20 years as an academic, and then did the dot-com thing, which turned into a dot-bomb, went bust as they say.
Nowadays, I spend much of my time on the web, developing ideas in education and working as a consultant in technology and business innovation. I have worked in many parts of the world, and have experienced a few cultures at first hand.
I believe that we have only one go at life, that we each walk our own path, but that we are responsible for each other. I believe that we are moral, thinking creatures capable of great things. Humanism to me is the outcome of millennia of thinking about what is right and wrong; we stand on the shoulders of the great thinkers of the species, hopefully, being able to bring that into our own lives.
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The first wedding that I conducted was my daughter’s. This day was one of the best in my life, I saw two young folk that I love come together standing up in front of a gathering of family and friends, declaring their love for each other, and it was a spectacular day. Everybody in the hall had their part to play, some reading, others organising music, we had a call and response from everyone. When I conduct a wedding, I want others to experience the feelings that I had on that day. The wedding ceremony, itself, is designed by the couple, with my help. We can consider what cultural aspects should be included – exchanges of rings, handfasting, use of candles and so on. I do like to think of the marriage as a story to be written, but the prelude has already been written in the form of the love story so far. So I do like to have this in the ceremony – but that is me, it is always up to the couple.On the day, as well a being the celebrant, I kind of take on the role of MC, ensuring that we have well known cues for everything that is to happen, places for VIPs and so on. I will also be there in case anything happens. I will also have that lovely bit of declaring the couple to be married.
Second daughter's wedding in the summer of 2011, at Portpatrick! What a day!
My approach to Namings
I conducted my first naming for my grandson in August 2008 – was an excellent day!
Second one in 2011 - number 3 in 2014!
My approach to Funerals
Everyone lives exactly one lifetime, we live it according to our capabilities and I believe that every lifetime is worth celebrating and worth remembering. My job as a celebrant is to work with family and friends, and nowadays with echoes on internet sites, to help to say goodbye to the person, to remember the life and to ensure that the story started by the deceased continues on into the future. I do this by writing a tribute on behalf of the family and friends, this tribute has an end in that it is written, but I do hope that the tributes to the deceased continue into the future.There is no religion or anti-religion in the ceremonies that I conduct, the funeral is about the person, I use his or her first name and talk about them in the present tense. I do not shirk any disappointments that may have occurred, but also try to bring out the highlights of a life worth living.The tribute to the person is from their family and friends, I add nothing to it, simply try to channel the thoughts, the memories and the love that the family and friends have expressed during our conversations.
- Naming ceremonies
More about this celebrant
You can contact this celebrant on 0131 468 0440 or 07799 895464 or by email by filling in the form below. Fields marked with a * are required.